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Minnesota National Guard
Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. Concussions, also called “closed head injuries”, are a type of TBI. Not all blows to the head are considered a TBI. The severity of such an injury may range from “mild” to “severe”.
Mild to Severe TBI

A mild TBI may be a brief change in mental status or consciousness.  A severe TBI may result from an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. TBI can cause a wide range of functional changes affecting thinking, sensation, movement, language, and/or emotions. Some symptoms may appear immediately after the injury and other symptoms may take weeks to notice. Sometimes people may not recognize or admit that they have a problem because of the nature of the injury and the symptoms. In post-concussion/mild TBI patients, recovery time is within weeks/months, but a small percentage has persistent symptoms. Patients with moderate to severe TBI may never fully recover their pre-injury function.
Connection to Service Members

The rate of combat-related brain injuries in service members returning from the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan appears to be higher than in previous conflicts. Nearly 30% of all patients with combat-related injuries seen at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 2003 to 2005 sustained a TBI. Blast injuries are a significant cause of TBIs. TBI is often associated with severe multiple trauma, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or undiagnosed concussions.
VA Health Initiative

“Warfare is changing and as weapons have become progressively advanced, injuries have become more complex. In VA, we are constantly preparing to meet these challenges by educating our clinicians. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a condition that requires specialized medical care and rehabilitation. Persons with a brain injury are often referred to as the “walking wounded.” Their greatest challenges are often invisible to those who come in contact with them. VA and the Department of Defense recognized the need to provide specialty care for active duty military and veterans sustaining a brain injury. Through joint collaboration, the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Program was created in 1992, with 3 military and 4 VA medical centers as the core treatment sites. Subsequently, VA established a TBI Network of Care with designated facilities that support the 4 VA TBI Centers. The information in this module will assist you in your daily practice. By increasing awareness of the varied symptoms, treatment interventions, long-term care needs and resources; you will be better able to respond to this type of medical condition. Your commitment to continuing professional education ensures that veterans receive the highest quality care. I encourage all VA clinicians to take advantage of this opportunity to enhance their knowledge of caring for persons with traumatic brain injury.”

Under Secretary For Health

Brain Injury Association of Minnesota

Chair: Russ Philstrom Sue Lepore
Exec Director: Tom Gode Ardis Sandstrom
34 13th Avenue NE, Suite B001
Minneapolis, MN. 55413
Phone: (612) 378-2742
In State: (800) 669-6442
Fax: (612) 378-2789
E-Mail: info@braininjurymn.org
Web Site: http://www.braininjurymn.org